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Brands produced at Tequilana Agave
Tahona at Tequilana Agave
PINAS READY FOR THE
OVENS, LOS ALTOS
Cultivation and Harvest:
The Agaves are planted and grown to maturation, between 5-10 years. They are not watered, the rain water and climate are all that is needed.. The harvest or 'jima" is done manually with an instrument called a "coa". There is a romantic, sentimental aura that surrounds "jimadors", This traditional method has been handed down from generation to generation. A good "jimador can harvest up to 100 pinas a day.
Cooking converts the carbohydrates into simple sugars for fermentation. The "pinas " soften, making extraction easier. The "pinas" are placed in masonry ovens or steel containers called autoclaves. This process takes 50-72 hours in a masonery oven or between 8-14 hours in an autoclave.
The cooked "pinas" are pressed to obtain their sugars and through the injection of pressurized water, a frementation juice is made, mosto fresco.
The process is initiated when yeast, whether added by the producer or naturally occurring, converts the mosto fresco to mosto muerto. This is the transferring of sugars to alcohol. Each distillery differs in the hours of fermentation, although it is generally 24 to 72 hours.
The fermented juices are distilled in copper or stainless steel pot stills or in continuous distillation towers. TEQUILA is distilled twice and yields a liquid with an alcohol level of around 20%. The second distillation takes 3-4 hours, resulting in a liquid with an alcohol level near 55%.
At this point the substances are divided and only the heart of the process is used for TEQUILA. The result is TEQUILA that will be used as a BLANCO or aged to become another type.
Blancos, Silver or Plata is the product of the second distillation. Barrels or casks are used for aged TEQUILAS that include Reposados, Anejos, Extra-Anejos.
"THE APPELLATION OF ORIGIN"
Just like Cognac or Champagne, Tequila is a drink that takes its name from its region of origin, which is the town of TEQUILA, Mexico. It was in 1974 that the Mexican government established the Appellation of Origin Tequila, recognized worldwide.
The Appellation of Origin guarantees the consumer of authenticity. It establishes the following:
1.Tequila must be produced in a specific territory-The entire state of Jalisco, 7 Municipalities in the state of Gunajuato, 8 in the state of Nayarit, 11 in the state of Tamalipas and 30 in the state of Michocan.
2. A Mexican Official Standard (NOM-006-SCFI-2005) states the regulations must be strictly observed by all who produce or bottle TEQUILA.
3. The "Consejo Regulador del Tequila" was created as an independent body to verify and certify every TEQUILA company is in compliance with the NOM. www.crt.org
WHAT IS TEQUILA?
TEQUILA is Mexico's distinctive spirit. We have already established that for a spirit to be called TEQUILA, it must be from Mexico and adhere to the afore mentioned criteria.
TEQUILA is produced from one plant, the Blue Agave Tequilana Weber. There are over 200 varieties of Agave , but only one can produce TEQUILA. The Blue Weber Tequilana is a member of the amarilidacrea (Lily) family. It reproduces itself and bears no fruit. Each of the millions of Blue Weber Agave plants is registered with the CRT.
The heart or Pina is the only part used in the production of TEQUILA. It takes between 5-10 years for a plant to be ready for harvest. At maturity the jimador skillfully cuts away the leaves to reveal the pina which weigh approximately 30-50 kilos . It takes about 7 kilos to make one liter of 100% Agave TEQUILA.
Blue Agave fields
in Los Altos
Herradura, dedicated producers in masonery ovens stacking Pinas